Significances of Homas
Navratri is the time for us to go inwards. Meditation, pujas, and homas (also called yagnas) help one in this inward journey. The pujas and homas conducted during this time benefit everyone. They nullify misery, sorrow, pain and provide solace and bring in peace throughout the world. They are also meant to protect the environment, by instilling honor and reverence for Mother Earth.
Scientifically, the homas have proven to purify the atmosphere, casting a healing effect on the mind and the body. Each day of this nine-day period has special implications, and yagnas and homas are performed accordingly.
Sri Maha Ganapathi Homa
The rituals begin with an offering to Lord Ganesha, the Lord of Auspiciousness. The Ganapathi Homa is symbolic of removing all obstacles before initiating any new venture.
Lord Subrahmanya is the god of victory. To succeed in any endeavor, jnana shakti or the energy of knowledge is needed. So, Bramhanya mantras are chanted, and Lord Subrahmanya is invoked.
Sri Navgraha Homa
The Navgraha Homa is performed to propitiate the nine planets, which influence various spheres of life. It nullifies the negative impact created by the Nav Grahas or nine planets.
Sri Maha Rudra Homa
Rudra is the manifestation of Lord Shiva. The Maha Rudra Homa is one of the most ancient homas from the Vedas. The homa gives us peace and joy. Rudra mantras, including Namaka and Chamaka mantras, are chanted during this homa. Rudra mantras dissolve the three gunas (Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas) and help us enter the state of nothingness in deep meditation.
Sri Maha Sudarshan Homa
The Sudarshan Chakra signifies the infallible weapon of Lord Narayana, the discus. With the discus, Lord Narayan removes the head, where negative thoughts are born. With the Sudarshan Homa, we invoke Lord Narayana to bless us with Sudarshan, which means good vision (‘Su’ means good, and ‘Darshan’ means vision). Our experience of the world can be changed by changing our perception. The Sudarshan Homa helps in removing mental blocks, removing ignorance and making one’s perception positive.
Shatha chandi homa
The day of Ashtami or the eighth day marks the pinnacle of all homas of Navaratri. Chandi is the amalgamation of Durga (energy), Saraswati (knowledge) and Lakshmi (resources). The three energies represent three energies of creation. Any action fructifies when the three come together. Therefore, the Nava Chandi Homa helps one achieve success in all aspects of life - be it material or spiritual. Chants in this homa are recited from the Durga Saptashati, a Pauranic text (tales from Hindu mythology) where the Divine Mother destroys different types of asuras or demons which represent different negative traits present in the human psyche. Once these tendencies are overpowered, victory reigns.
The Rishi Homa is a unique homa that is probably performed only in The Art of Living. Rishis were people who meditated and realized various aspects of creation. Every rishi came and delivered a different aspect of knowledge. The Rishi Homa is performed to honor the tradition of rishis who have brought knowledge to our life. When we honor that, it enhances our appreciation for the different aspects of creation. Taking a sankalpa in the Rishi Homa is a way of expressing gratitude to the lineage of all rishis, gurus, and masters.
All are welcome to attend all pujas, yagnas, satsangs and have prasad. In gratitude, you may also participate by taking a sankalpa in these homas.